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Our outdoor family rink

November 6, 2020

We are a curling family. My wife and I play mixed twos together at our local club and we both play in different leagues throughout the winter as well. Our son Bennett, 5, has loved curling since he first saw it on TV. And this year, Bennett has started to curl in a junior league at the St. Vital Curling Club in Winnipeg.

Every winter we build an outdoor rink in our backyard. This will be the second year we will make it a curling rink dubbed ‘Tyler Bay Curling Club’. The rink is 10 feet wide by 40 feet long. Last year, we acquired a couple hacks from our local club and made curling rocks out of wooden salad bowls, cement and drawer pulls. This year, we are 3D printing curling rocks at a local high school.

Bennett, Emilia (3), Erin (mom) and I are outside curling day and night. We have spent hours as a family curling. Bennett is out there day and night throwing rocks. He loves every part of it. He shovels and sweeps the rink before he begins curling each time. He is getting good at experimenting different ways to throw his rocks and does all the things the pros do on TV. He cleans the bottom of his rocks, cleans the surface and spins his rock before throwing each time.

It is so fun to watch Bennett play, make up rules as he goes, and work hard at something he loves. He is so determined. His favourite part of everyday is when he gets the chance to throw rocks and sweep. After each ‘end’ he puts up the score, or some version of what he thinks it is based on his rules for the day.

Today, I began the process of building The Tyler Bay CC in Oakbank, Manitoba by setting up the boards. Soon, I will put down the tarp and flood the rink. Then Bennett and I will paint the rings and the lines and we will be ready to spend the winter days and nights outside curling on our little rink.